Pearl River Wildlife Management Area is located approximately six miles east of Slidell and approximately one mile east of the town of Pearl River. Access is available by vehicle from Old Highway 11 and by boat. Several ramps are located along US Highway 90, concrete ramps have been constructed at Davis and Crawford Landings, and a commercial ramp is located at Old Indian Village. The ramps along US Highway 90 and those at Davis and Crawford Landings have ample parking space.
Pearl River totals 35,618 acres and is owned by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The terrain is flat, drainage is poor, and the area is subject to annual flooding. The forest cover varies from an all age hardwood stand in the northern 45 percent, to cypress tupelo in the next 35 percent, and an intermediate type marsh in the southern 20 percent. The mixed hardwoods are made up of water oak, nuttall oak, cow oak, obtusa oak, overcup oak, live oak, bitter pecan, hickory, beech, magnolia, sweetgum, and elm. The overstory varies from moderately open to closed.
There are numerous streams and bayous on the area which provide fishing, canoeing, boating, crawfishing, and waterfowl hunting opportunities. These are generally accessed from the boat ramps previously mentioned. Several ponds are located on the northern end of the area along I-59.
Game species hunted include white-tailed deer, squirrels, rabbits, waterfowl, snipe, and woodcock. Trapping is allowed for furbearers, including beaver, nutria, mink, muskrat, opossum, raccoon, coyote, and bobcat. An alligator season is available on a bid or lottery contract basis.
The bald eagle occurs along the streams and lakes in the fall and winter and the golden eagle can be seen occasionally. Swallowtail kites and ospreys are frequently seen.
Camping is available only at the Crawford Landing. A rifle range is located on the area and is available for public use at specified times (visit www.honeyisland.org or call 985-643-3938 for additional shooting range information). When the river gauge at Pearl River, LA, reaches 16.5 feet, Old Highway 11 and all hunting, except waterfowl, will be closed. To monitor water levels, visit the National Weather Service link at http://water.weather.gov/ahps2/hydrograph.php?wfo=lix&gage=perl1.
Additional information may be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 42371 Phyllis Ann Drive, Hammond, LA, 70403, 985-543-4777.